Creepy Craft Corner

by Angela Sylvaine

Welcome to “Creepy Craft Corner,” which features HWA members who are also artists, crafters, makers, or creators. I hope to provide you, the reader, with the tools and inspiration to try creating something new! *Please note- I am now open for submissions! If you would like to be featured on Creepy Craft Corner, find my social media links at angelasylvaine.com and reach out.

If you’re like me, you lament spring and the pastel palette of clothing choices it brings. You suffer behind lowered blinds and closed curtains, beseeching the dark lord to answer the prayers of a humble but fashion conscious goth and lover retro threads. Well, dear reader, your prayers have been answered. Brianna Malotke is here to show us all the secret to constructing our own ghoulish clothes, including a Zombie Pinup Dress that has me dusting off my old Singer!

*Insert Zombie Dress Front & Back Pic

Welcome, Brianna, tell us a little about what you write and any upcoming projects you’d like to promote.

My main focus in the horror genre is poetry, especially body horror pieces. I have been branching out during the past year and have enjoyed working on flash fiction and short stories. I’m currently working on my own personal collection of horror poems but I have a few things coming out this year that I’m really excited to share.

First, I have two body horror poems included in the upcoming “Under Her Skin: A Women in Horror Poetry Collection,” by Black Spot Books. It’ll be available April 5th. Here is the link: vesuvianmedia.com/under-her-skin. Secondly, I have a non-fiction piece that will be included in the “Out of Time: True Paranormal Encounters Anthology,” by Timber Ghost Press. My story details a childhood paranormal experience that I’ve only ever disclosed to a handful of people. It’ll be out this October 2022.

You can follow me on Instagram: @briannamalotke.

My website is: brimalotke.wixsite.com/malotkewrites

My personal costume & sewing blog: malotkesews.blogspot.com

I share a lot of my costume work on my online portfolio: brimalotke.wixsite.com/malotkedesigns

What creepy craft or creation have you decided to share with us today? 

My background is in Apparel and Costume Design. One of my favorite things is to take a very basic, potentially structured or tailored, garment and use a very fun or quirky fabric. While I sew a lot for myself, I do enjoy costuming plays. Luckily my city has a vibrant theater life that I’ve been able to be a part of and do a variety of shows. My most recent costume job involved designing the costumes for “She Kills Monsters,” by playwright Qui Nguyen. It was great combination of the 90s and fantasy Dungeons & Dragons characters. 

For this dress I took a very simple look – sleeveless, collarless, with princess seams, a back zipper, and a gathered waist – and used a very fun, pin-up girl zombie fabric that I found at Joann’s a few years ago. I wanted to keep the dress simple in style to show off the fun print, which is why I made my side panels and inside facings out of a plain black fabric. I picked my favorite zombie girl to be featured front and center. Then I cut out my other pattern pieces to allow the zombies to not be sliced up too much.

What instructions or tips do you have for our readers who might be interested in trying this craft for themselves?

A lot of the time I draft my own patterns but for this particular dress I used a pre-made/store bought pattern (Kwik Sew K3929 Vintage Misses Dress) and then altered it based on my own sizing. Also, if you’re wanting to alter a pattern to fit you better, don’t be afraid to make a mock-up out of a basic, solid fabric then mark on it to show the changes needed. Then take it apart and use those pieces as your own pattern. This method really helps me when I want to see where the stitching and the fun fabric print will lie on the body.

If you’re wanting to match up prints, I recommend having a lot of pattern weights to help you out during the cutting process. Depending on your fabric selection, using clips to help the fabric from slipping while you cut it out could also be beneficial. See the photo for how I laid out my pattern pieces to get the Zombies I wanted to appear on my dress. I hate to waste fabric but I really wanted to feature the main Zombie pinup on the center front of the bodice and skirt.

Thank you so much to Brianna for sharing her craft with us this month! Until next time, keep it crafty, HWA.

Angela Sylvaine is a self-proclaimed cheerful goth who still believes in monsters. Her debut novella, Chopping Spree, is available now. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications and anthologies, including Places We Fear to Tread and Not All Monsters. You can find her online angelasylvaine.com.

Special thanks to our logo creator, Maria Abrams abramstheauthor.com

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